GM wheat escape in Oregon
A trial version of GM wheat was recently found growing in Oregon, even though the trials ended in 2005 and Monsanto withdrew their application to grow the wheat. It is not known how the wheat escaped, or whether it has been cross-pollinating since 2005.
A Kansas farmer is suing Monsanto on the basis that his income will suffer as Monsanto's blunder has already caused Japan to suspend some imports of US wheat and consequently the price of US wheat is under threat.
More GM news: over the weekend the Connecticut Senate voted 34 to 0 to pass an amendment to HB 6527 to label GMOs in Connecticut and 2 days later, the CT House passed the bill 134 to 3.
It appears that Connecticut might wish to move towards GM food labelling, but they won't do it alone because reportedly Monsanto has threatened to sue any state that passes a stand-alone GMO labeling bill.
Leaders in the Connecticut House, Senate and Governor's office reached a compromise that says GMO labeling will go into effect in Connecticut once four other states pass mandatory GMO labeling.
According to the provision, which is meant to insulate the state of Connecticut from an expensive lawsuit, one state must be touching the Connecticut border (New York, Massachusetts or Rhode Island) and that the states in the North East region have a population totaling 20 million.
Maine, Massachusetts, Pennslyvania, New Jersey and New York all have GMO labeling bills in the current session and could follow Connecticut in a matter of weeks.
Already 26 states have introduced GMO labeling bills this year, with Vermont passing a version, and Maine close to passing one now.
A situation could arise where there is not enough GM-free wheat on the world market to satisfy demand, causing a price hike. Politicians will likely try to use this to make the case that GM wheat is perfectly fine and shouldn't be rejected 'on emotional grounds'.
Read the Kansas farmer story here:
Link to Greenpeace campaign on escaped Oregon GE wheat:
More information on Monsanto and GMOs at:
Reporter: Clive Kinski